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Exploring Force & Motion With Things That Go!

Looking to explore big scientific concepts—like motion and forces, gravity, and friction— with your little ones in a fun, approachable way? A great way to do that is by investigating “things that go” ⎯ like cars, planes, trains and rockets. We can see how things move and how different conditions affect the speed of those objects, discovering physical science concepts along the way.

Try some hands-on investigations and experiments, play games, watch videos, and read up on the science behind motion and transportation below. Then, keep the fun going with Learn Along Bingo sheets full of printable activities and everyday learning ideas for children grades Pre-K to 2!

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Explore Science Through Motion & Transportation

Word of the Week: Journey Words | Dot’s Spot

Grades PreK-K
The word of the week is transportation! Introduce your little learners to different modes of transportation with this video.

Dinosaur Discoveries: Trains | Dinosaur Train

Grades PreK-K
Dr. Scott joins a train conductor to learn about trains. The conductor teaches us that train tracks are made of two very long metal pieces called rails that run along side each other and are connected by a piece of wood and a tie. He also explains that trains are made up of many different types of cars, including a caboose, a passenger car, and an engine.

Flight | Science Trek

Grades 3-5
This video segment from IdahoPTV’s Science Trek takes you on a flight with a young student and a pilot as you learn about the 4 aerodynamic forces which are present when air is moving past an object such as an airplane ⎯ weight, lift, drag and thrust.

Roller Coaster Design

Grades 3-12
Meet mechanical engineer and roller coaster designer Chris Gray, in this video adapted from DESIGN SQUAD. Mechanical engineers use their knowledge of science to design and build all kinds of machines, including roller coasters. Chris explains how gravity and the changes in energy—between its potential and kinetic forms—create the excitement of a roller coaster ride.

The Rocket – NASA is Born | Space Chase USA

Grades 3-12
The Wright Brothers introduced the world to flight, but do your kids know how NASA came to be? Find out in this video from PBS station WUCF and PBS LearningMedia.

Activities, Games & More

Friction Racing

Grades PreK-1
Your child can build a ramp and then use a toy car to test which two surfaces has the least amount of friction in this DIY activity.

Rover Maker Game | Ready Jet Go!

Grades K-2
Hop in and game on with Jet and his friends by designing and building rovers built to handle a series of challenging terrains and environmental conditions with this Rover Maker game.

12 Picture Books About Things That Go!

Grades PreK-3
There’s something captivating about transportation and vehicles — in real life but also in children’s books. There are hundreds and hundreds of books about things that go, but here are some favorites that you won’t want to miss.

Getting to the Game Interactive Story | Martha Speaks

Grades K-5
In this Martha Speaks interactive story, your child can follow along as Martha reads about different ways to travel and learn about how different forms of transportation work. As you pedal a bike, gears rotate the wheels and make you go further, other vehicles are even solar powered!

Challenge of Flight Interactive

Grades 6-12
Examine the forces that act on an airplane in flight, the motions a pilot controls, and the design process engineers use to develop airplanes that manage these flight conditions, in this interactive produced by WGBH and The Documentary Group

Learn Along Bingo

With Learn Along Bingo, children can view, explore, and play as they learn alongside their PBS KIDS friends on the PBS Kids 24/7 channel. We hope your family will use it to inspire learning each and every day.

This time, we’re learning about how force and motion helps us to see how pushes and pulls make things move. And how different conditions affect the speed of those objects.

Grades PreK-K

Play & Learn: In this packet, there are printable activities and everyday learning ideas for you and your child to choose from. As you complete each square, mark it off to celebrate the learning!

Grades 1-2

Play & Learn: In this packet, there are printable activities and everyday learning ideas for you and your child to choose from. As you complete each square, mark it off to celebrate the learning!

For even more games and educational resources for young learners, go to the Cars, Planes, & Trains: Learning From Things That Go Collection on PBS KIDS for Parents.